A senior official from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) estimated, in an interview published on Sunday, June 13, that it would be better to stop AstraZeneca's vaccine against Covid-19 for all age groups when alternatives are available.
Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at EMA, also told Italian newspaper
that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine should preferably be used for those over 60.
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Both of these viral vector vaccines have been approved by the European regulator for those over 18, but have been reported to have rare blood clots.
The EU has also authorized two messenger RNA vaccines, those from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.
Italy on Saturday restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 60 and over, due to increased health risks for younger people.
Asked if it would not be better to ban AstraZeneca, including for those over 60, Marco Cavaleri replied: “
Yes, and it is an option that many countries, like France and Germany , consider in light of the increased availability of messenger RNA vaccines
However, incidents were very rare and happened after the first dose. It is true that there is less data on the second dose, but in the UK it (the vaccination schedule) is going well.
In young people, the risk of being ill decreases, and the message to them could be to use preferably messenger RNA vaccines, but the choice is left to each state,
" he added. He said Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine presented "
fewer problems than AstraZeneca,
" but said it had been used less widely. “
With just one dose, it's useful for some hard-to-reach categories, but there's an adenovirus (vaccine) left, and it's best to keep it for those over 60
,” he said.
Messenger RNA technology involves injecting our cells with strands of genetic instructions to make them make proteins or “
” specific to the coronavirus. These proteins will be delivered to the immune system, which will then produce antibodies.
, such as those from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, use another virus as a carrier, which is modified so that it carries genetic information in the body to fight Covid. Both use a very common type of virus called adenovirus as a carrier.